Students examine the skills they need in order to be effective members of the workforce.

Year level



60 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies

Social awareness



Learning intention

Students assess the skills required for the future and understand that they are already developing and using these skills.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognise the skills required for the future

  • evaluate their own skills and how they can improve them.

Materials needed

  • Sticky notes

  • Butchers paper

  • Pens

  • Access to the article Skills for the future of work.

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Social awareness

    • Social management

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

  • Critical and Creative Thinking:

    • Inquiring

    • Generating

Show details

Activity 1

Class discussion

10 minutes

  • Who has had or currently has a job?

  • What type of work do they or did they do?

  • How did they get their job?

Activity 2

Individual brainstorm

10 minutes

  • Ask students: What skills do you think you need for the future? Think about social skills, knowledge, communication skills.

  • Students brainstorm, making notes of ideas on individual sticky notes.

  • Allow 5 minutes.

Activity 3

Group activity

10 minutes

  • Students form small groups.

  • Using their sticky notes, they group their answers into categories. (They decide on these themselves.)

  • Students share with the class the categories they selected and explain why they grouped their notes in that way.

Activity 4

Critical thinking

10 minutes

Write the following on a worksheet or the board. These skills have been identified as the top skills young people will need in the future.

  • Complex problem solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Creativity

  • Coordinating with others

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Judgement and decision making

  • Service orientation

  • People management

  • Negotiation

  • Cognitive flexibility

You can check out the article that discusses these skills here.

As a group, ask students to rank these skills from the least to the most important.

  • Divide the class into smaller groups if needed.

  • This activity may take some time, and students may disagree on the ranking.

Once the groups are done, ask them to share why they ranked the skills in the way they have.

Activity 5

Class discussion

10 minutes

  • Which of the skills have you just practised in this exercise?

  • Why are these skills so important for the workforce?

  • How can we develop these skills?

Activity 6

Action plan

10 minutes

  • Students select two skills from the list that they feel they need to develop.

  • Students develop a plan to improve their skills in these areas. This could be a goal or a pledge.


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